1. Antibiotics linked to type 1 diabetes

    How a stuffy nose can lead to diabetes

    A lot of attention has focused on the recent rise in cases of diabetes.

    But most of what you hear is about type 2 diabetes, since it represents almost 95 percent of the diabetic population.

    While type 1 (formerly known as "juvenile") diabetes affects a far smaller percentage of diabetics, it's also been on the rise over the past few years. Based on the most current statistics, it hits one out of every 300 kids; and if there's a family history, that risk goes up 20 times.

    At first, that doesn't make any sense. We usually think of type 1 diabetes as something you're born with.

    Type 1 diabetes doesn't develop as a result of poor lifestyle choices; it affects children and young adults whose bodies can't produce insulin and need help turning sugars and starches into energy.

    But the latest research shows that there may be something we're doing to our kids and grandkids that's actually giving them diabetes.

    Researchers from NYU found that laboratory mice had an "accelerated and enhanced rate of type 1 diabetes"... after just three rounds of antibiotics.

    The average American child could easily have taken that many rounds of antibiotics -- before their first birthday!

    And we're not talking about particularly high doses of exceptionally powerful antibiotics. The study used amount equivalent to those typically given (and usually overprescribed) for common childhood infections of, say, the ear.

    In the study, the antibiotics caused a snowball effect, first by upsetting the gut bacterial balance in the mice, and then throwing off their T-cell count.

    As a result, the mice's immune systems went haywire and started attacking healthy cells -- and, in this case, that meant the insulin-making cells of the pancreas, which became inflamed.

    Of course, we know that healthy gut bacteria being wiped out by antibiotics has also been linked to a steep increase in type 2 diabetes in adults.

    But the kicker here is that a young body's immune system is still learning how to fight -- and these antibiotics kill off gut microbes that train the body NOT to attack itself.

    Remember: antibiotics can only treat bacterial infections. These drugs will do absolutely nothing for cold or flu viruses, allergies, or even many infections that may actually be caused by a fungus.

    If the infection is relatively minor (no fever), there are a number of natural cures you can try first:

    • Hay fever: Sneezing and other symptoms can be cleared up by probiotics, which boost immunity and are safe to give to kids.
    • Nasal congestion: Fill a sink with hot water, drape a towel over the youngster's head, and have them breathe in the steam.
    • Ear infections: Topical oil of basil may help -- but if the little one seems to be constantly getting ear infections, it may be a sign of something else going on, like a food allergy.

    To be safe, check with a doctor who's well-versed in integrative medicine. If the munchkin truly needs an antibiotic, the doc can prescribe one.

  2. Busting the fruit-diabetes myth

    Diabetic? Don't fall for the big fruit scare

    Q: There was recently an article in a German newspaper claiming that eating apples could give you diabetes. This can't be true, right?

    G.R.: I actually get questions on fruit and diabetes all the time.

    Basically, there are two types of diabetes warnings that often circulate about fruit.

    One warning claims the pesticides used on fruit can give you diabetes. The other warning concerns the sugar content of fruit.

    Let's start with the pesticides warning, because that's actually legitimate. There's a significant body of research proving that the more you are exposed to pesticides, the higher your diabetes risk.

    That's why it's always a good idea to buy organic fruit whenever you can. And if you can't buy organic, make sure you scrub your fruit thoroughly.

    As far as fruit being some dangerous sugar bomb, I'm not buying it. Even the American Diabetes Association doesn't advise diabetics against eating fruit.

    Diabetics should just account for the calories and carbs in the fruit you eat, just like you would anything else in your diet.

    Plus, fruits like apples are loaded with fiber, quercetin, antioxidants, and lots of other components that have a healthy effect on our blood sugar.

    The fact is, the more fresh fruits and vegetables you eat, the healthier you'll be. Again, just try to buy organic.

    Want me to answer your question next? Email me at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com

  3. Stop diabetic retinopathy by eating more salmon

    New study shows that if you eat just two servings of omega-3 rich fish like salmon, mackerel and more each day you can cut your risk of diabetic retinopathy – or vision loss from diabetes – by nearly half!
  4. Eating berries lessens risk of type 2 diabetes

    A study out of China shows that compounds in berries called anthocyanins can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 18 percent.
  5. Vitamin D can prevent diabetes

    A study out of Japan shows that vitamin D can reduce diabetes risk by lowering glucose levels by an average of three points.
  6. Walking may keep diabetes at bay

    New study suggests that the key to preventing diabetes may be as simple as taking a brisk walk every day.
  7. Avocado oil fights kidney damage from diabetes

    You’ve likely already heard how healthy avocados are, but the lesser-known avocado oil also packs a powerful punch. It can even fight against kidney damage caused by type 2 diabetes and protect you against other diabetes-related complications.
  8. How sugar keeps wounds from healing in diabetes patients

    Researchers have found that the wounds that won’t heal in diabetics may be caused by electric currents that have been diminished by high blood glucose. Restoring those electric currents would allow wounds to heal faster – but so would reducing the amount of glucose in the blood.
  9. Reminders help curb diabetes

    Studies show that people with nagging spouses are better at controlling their diabetes.
  10. Curcumin can curb metabolic syndrome

    By boosting levels of the hormone adiponectin, curcumin has been shown to prevent the development of diabetes and other obesity-related diseases.

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